How To Reach Your Fitness Goals in 2023
If you start each new year thinking about your fitness goals and what you'd like to do in the next 365 days to reach them, you're in good company. With the change in weather and a super busy holiday season filled with overindulgences in the rearview mirror, now is the time to start planning not only the fitness milestones you'd like to reach in 2023, but putting in place your plan to reach them.
When it's January and you're thinking about what you need to do to hit your fitness goals in 2023, it's important to consider the three things the best workout plans have in common. They are realistic, measurable, and personalized to you. These three components are key to creating a workout plan that you feel good about and keeps you motivated all year long.
Make Your Fitness Goals Realistic
Deciding what your fitness goals for 2023 are starts with being realistic while still being ambitious. Consider your current fitness levels. If exercising regularly is now a struggle and you find it difficult to keep with a workout routine, maybe your goals isn't to place on the age group podium at an Ironman triathlon. A more realistic goal might be to run a 10K by the end of the year.
If you've chosen a fitness goal that isn't realistic, it can be very difficult to stay motivated when you're feeling like you just might never hit your goal no matter how hard you work. That's why your fitness goals for 2023 should be:
Challenging – The whole point of setting a long-term fitness goal is to challenge yourself in a new way for for the new year. If you pick a goal that is too easy and you hit it by the middle of March, it probably wasn't one that was challenging enough for you. On the flip side, your goal should require a realistic amount of hard work to achieve but it shouldn't be so difficult that it lands you with overuse injuries or burns you out by April.
Within Reach – When you're thinking about your 2023 fitness goal, you'll want to strike a balance between difficulty and achievability. Your goal should be possible to achieve through a fitness routine that builds up over the course of the year and balances with the other commitments your life requires. If you set a goal that is only reachable through 6 hours a day of working out, but you have a full-time job and lots of other responsibilities outside of work, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment come December. Similarly, if your goal is to medal at a competitive swim race but you haven't been in the water in ten years, you'll probably want to reassess.
Sharable – Talking to other people about your fitness goal for the new year will help with your accountability and it may help you find a group that can help you on your path. Studies show that working out with others, even if it's just one other person, can can have a significant positive impact on your motivation, focus, and performance.
Make Your Fitness Goals Measurable
Just like with any other kind of goal you're setting, you want to make your 2023 fitness goal measurable. An example of a bad fitness goal comes from Nike trainer Jason Loebig. He says "get really healthy" is not a good goal because it's "not quantifiable." A measurable goal would be "to run five miles" or to get even more specific, "to run five miles in under and hour."
Other examples of measurable fitness goals that you could consider for 2023 include:
Hitting a particular number of reps for a specific exercise (10 body weight pull-ups, 20 push-ups on your toes, or 25 burpees without a break)
Lifting a specific amount of weight
Running, cycling, or swimming a specific time (or a personal best) over a set distance
When you name goals that are specific and able to be easily measuring, it's much easier to track your progress toward your goals. It's also much easier to come up with a plan that sets you on the right pathway, hitting incremental milestones on the way to your ultimate goal. When you're designing your goal-specific fitness plan (or working with a certified personal trainer to create one), here are some pointers to keep in mind:
Create a balanced routine - Even if your fitness goal is cardio focused, you still need to work strength training into your workout plan. And the opposite is true if your fitness goal is strength focused. Guidelines suggest at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity (or a combination of both) each week in addition to strength training exercises for all major muscle groups at least twice a week.
Progress gradually - Especially if it's been a while since you've engaged in a regular exercise routine or you have an injury or medical condition, make sure you start with caution and progress slowly, and you've consulted with a medical professional or certified personal trainer.
Build in recovery time - Your body needs periods of rest when you're working out regularly. Plan time between your workouts to give your body the time it needs to recover and prevent overuse injuries. Dr. Chelsea Jackson Roberts suggests "for every day or hour that you work out, try and commit to that equal amount of rest either the same day or the next."
Make Your Fitness Goals Personalized
Maybe your best friend or partner has decided they are going to run a marathon in 2023 and wants you to join them. But if running is your idea of torture, saying yes to them is probably not the best fitness goal for you. The likelihood is low that you'll stick to a workout plan designed around running and aiming toward a goal that isn't exciting for you.
Your fitness goal for the coming year should be in service to you, how you like to spend your time working out, and what makes you excited to hit the gym or get in a workout after a long day. If you have trouble coming up with a goal or you have lots of different goals that sound exciting to you, working with a certified personal trainer can help you define or refine a goal that will get you excited and ready to hit it head on.
Make It Fun
Perhaps the most important part of setting your 2023 fitness goals is making sure that the pathway toward reaching them is fun. If you've chosen goals that are realistic, measurable, and personalized, you can design a fitness plan that helps you reach the goals while keeping you engaged and motivated as you hit milestones.
Working with a certified personal trainer is a great way to keep your workouts varied and enjoyable, especially if you've found that you're losing motivation throughout the year. A personal trainer can also push you harder than you'll push yourself, so you'll progress toward your goal faster.
If you need help setting your 2023 fitness goals or you need help creating a workout plan to help you reach them, reach out to us. Inspire Fitness Training Studio's certified personal trainers in Arlington, MA will work with you to design a customized plan just for you. Call us at 781-643-0002 or email us at email@example.com for details.
Joe Rindone, NCPT is a certified personal trainer and the Founder of Inspire Fitness Studio in Arlington, MA. Joe's passion for fitness has motivated him to become one Greater Boston's best personal trainers. An athlete throughout high school and college, Joe has always enjoyed being active. Currently he enjoys road races, working with his boxing coach, kettlebell training and getting out for a round of golf in his spare time.